The West Bengal Comprehensive Area Development Authority (WBCADC), which is under the department of panchayat and rural development, is going to launch around 20 retail chain stores named “Nature Bazar” in Kolkata, Salt Lake and other states within the next one year.
The first such Nature Bazar outlet has been inaugurated by panchayat and rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee at CA Block in Salt Lake and will be operational from 16 June.
Talking to The Statesman, Mukherjee has informed that besides organic spices (both whole and powdered), pulses, rice, edible oils, honey, ghee, fruits, vegetables, both frozen sealed packets and instantly cooked black “Kadaknath” chicken, ducks, fish, soft Bengal black goat’s meat etc will be sold at a fixed price through these outlets and there will be no price fluctuations like in the local daily markets.
“Within the next one year the WBCADC has planned to increase its footfall slowly and will set up nearly 20 Nature Bazaar outlets in various parts of North and South Kolkata, Dumdum, Baranagore, Salt Lake and 14 districts of South Bengal. Already we have earned about Rs.2.10 crore from retail marketing only in the past one year,” says Soumyajit Das, special secretary of WBCADC.
Das said the special attractions will be the cooked food dishes in all these retail stores. The Salt Lake outlet is on a 2,590 square feet of space. The customers can sit and enjoy mouth-watering chicken, fish, crab, egg devil and meat dishes.
He further added fish fingers, chops, rolls, fry etc will be available. Fish such as maurala, and parshe, will also be available. Organic Himsagar, Amrapali, Langra mangoes have been procured from the Ayodhya Hills of Purulia, watermelons from Sonamukhi in Bankura and onions from Sukhsagar.
At present the opening of the store timings will be as per the state government notifications, but once these restrictions are over the Nature Bazar outlets will remain open from 9am to 9pm. All the products available in these outlets have been cultivated organically without using any chemical fertilisers.
The WBCADC has been so far selling fish, meat and spices through its vans to doorsteps in Salt Lake, New Town and Kolkata, but is now coming in a big way with its chain of retail outlets. Nearly 2,000 self-help group (SHG) women are involved in this retail business directly. The items are packaged in its headquarters at Mrittika Bhawan in Salt Lake.